If you are interested in commissioning a work from me hopefully you will find the information below useful, as it tends to often  be the stages I go through when doing a commissioned portrait.

I prefer to paint from photos rather from life .So first comes the photography stage and the design of the picture, then the translation of this photo into paint.


Stage 1

Informal meeting

Firstly I need to discuss what type of image a client might like, where it would hang, who it's of and what it's for.This helps me get an idea of the tone of the picture.

Other questions might be: What size? How important is the background?

How formal/informal should it be?


Meeting the sitter at this stage is of course helpful so I can get to know them a bit and start to get a picture of how I might go about creating an appropriate image .Ideally, (although it's not always practically possible ) I might have a lunch with the sitter to get to know them a bit.This makes the photography sessions a bit easier, and also having got to know the sitter a bit  helps me get a better sense of them which helps both with the design and execution of the painting.


Stage 2-first sitting

Having had a bit of time to get to know the sitter, and what they want from the picture, I usually by then have an idea of what I might want from any photo tests and where to photograph them .During the photo tests I explore various different compositional options.The tests me help me see any technical problems there might be with the photography as well as explore possible routes for the image. If the sitter is for some reason unavailable I have often used a stand-in while I work on the composition and lighting.

Sitting time:1 hour


Stage 3-reviewing the photos from the first sitting

I have a think about the photos I have taken and look for improvements that can be made in lighting, colour and composition.


Stage 4

Final photo shoot (second sitting)

I normally have a pretty clear idea at this stage of what the picture should be like and after discussing this with the sitter, I photograph what I need. I will have solved and technical photographic issues.I take as many photos as possible in the hope that there will be one great shot to paint from.This can mean taking a few hundred images.

Sitting time:1 hour


Stage 5-painting

I choose the photo.Some clients prefer to be consulted on this choice.If this is the case and the image is approved I now paint the picture.


Treatment of paint: Some sitters are better painted with bold textural marks , others may suit a totally different approach.I explore these options as I paint to see what works best and feels right for the individual sitter .Eventually the painting comes together.


Stage 6-finished painting.

Studio visit

Is the client happy with the picture?

Are any amendments needed?

Sign off



If I have availability and space in my diary, and the commission process is agreed in writingI am generally free to start anytime to start work on designing the image and take photos etc.

But although I may have a final photo taken I would not often be free to start actually painting the picture until I finish what I would currently be working on or have booked in.Timings would all be discussed and agreed in advance.

Depending on the size, the execution of the painting may take any number of months to paint.

Framing :

is not included but I'm happy to offer advice on this .


if you email me via the contact link at the top I can send you my price list.